THE NEW TODAY extends to all of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique the best possible wishes for this New Year.
As the leading national newspaper, we wish to thank all those especially the advertisers, readers, contributors and sellers – for continuing to support us in the past 12 months.
The Management and Staff recognise your invaluable contribution and look forward to be of service throughout 2018 and beyond.
However, the most important issue in the country at the moment is the date to be given by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for the much-anticipated general election that would have very far-reaching implications for the two major political parties on the island.
In the coming weeks or months, the electorate will determine the fate of many of the politicians on both side of the political divide – Prime Minister Mitchell, Gregory Bowen, and Peter David on the NNP side and others from Congress especially its leader, Nazim Burke.
The NNP has used the government machinery in the past four-and-a-half years to put resources at the disposal of the incumbent Member of Parliament, Tobias Clement in order to help him to hold onto the St. George North-east seat and to keep out Burke from regaining the constituency that he represented for two terms in 2003 and 2008.
Grenadians are fully aware that one of the priorities of Dr. Mitchell and his newfound friends assembled within the so-called “Project Grenada” initiative is to “kill” Burke in 2018 and bring his political career to an end.
The bitterness and hatred for Burke by the likes of David and trade unionist Chester Humphrey towards their former 1979-83 revolutionary comrade bring back memories of the bloody period of October 1983 when the New Jewel Movement (NJM) was locked in a vicious power struggle between the Bernard Coard clique and the populist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop.
As for the upcoming elections itself, this newspaper is not in a position at this point in time to gauge whether the Prime Minister intends to set the date for the poll within the next few weeks.
On the face of it, the indication is that the poll will not come before the February 7 Independence Day given the pace at which the ruling party is officially endorsing and publicly presenting its slate of candidates.
MP for St. David, Economic Development Minister Oliver Joseph is to be presented on Sunday.
However, the dates are still to be released for the endorsement of several other candidates – Anthony Boatswain (St. Patrick West), Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen (St. Mark), Alvin Da Breo (St. John), Peter David (Town of St. George), Nicholas Steele (South St. George), Gregory Bowen (St. George South-east) and the Prime Minister himself in St. George North-west).
A snap poll is no longer on the card as PM Mitchell does not have the luxury to call any early elections as that has virtually evaporated and has to face the electorate sometime between February 19 and before the end of May.
THE NEW TODAY is curious about the time that Dr. Mitchell will signal to the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament and set the date for a new election.
Will there be a dissolution of Parliament and announcement of the date for elections at the same time or a delayed announcement for several weeks?
NNP insiders are predicting a poll sometime in March to May because the ruling party still need time for some of its candidates like Kate Lewis and Pamela Moses to try and consolidate their standings in St. Andrew North-east and St. Patrick East respectively.
Congress can quite rightly interpret this as uncertainty on the part of the ruling party and that the NNP might be apprehensive of its own chances in many seats in the country.
This newspaper holds the view that the party that comes out with the most seats in the corridor between St. David to St. John will go on and win the election.
The NDC will have to win at least two seats in St. Andrew and the two in St. Patrick to fancy its chances at the poll.
A bad performance of Congress in these constituencies will diminish its chances at the polls.
As a party with a strong Middle Class following, THE NEW TODAY expects the NDC to give a good showing in four of the five seats in St. George with the exception being the St. George North-west stronghold of the Prime Minister.
The leadership of both the Public Workers Union (PWU) and the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) would also have some kind of an interest in the date for the elections.
The two unions can be expected to plot their next move on the “one-off payment” issue with government around the election.
The move by police and prison officers to accept the package from government over the Christmas holiday period can have some bearings and implications on the next move of the two mainstream public sector unions.
Quite frankly, THE NEW TODAY is not surprised at the turn of events as the lawmen have demonstrated over the years that the vast majority of them are sympathetic to the cause of NNP and Dr. Mitchell.
The country will continue to speculate on what the factors were that prevented PM Mitchell from calling the elections at a much earlier stage like June 2017.